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Tiki-ness on Kauai?

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In a few weeks I'll be off to my yearly trip to Kauai :wink: This might sound funny, but I never really associated "Hawaii" with "tiki", since I consider tiki to be a twisted, kitschy mainland representation of all things Polynesian and mysterious. So my question is, is there anything particularly "tiki" I should look for there? I love the islands and have been going for years, but am not into the shows and luaus and such. Any tips about hidden bars, cool thrift shops or the like would be welcome. I've been to Duke's (nice atmo, but too many tvs) and to the sacred hulau platform at Ke'e (genuinely kapu and not even walked upon by natives), and dozens of other places. Something new and undiscovered would be a treat.

When I was on Kauai a couple of years ago, I was actually dissappointed by the lack of Tiki...it's the "Garden Isle", great for hikers and other nature lovers. If you like your tropical garden in a glass, Oahu and the Big Island are better.

This said, I found one obscure and impressive Tiki site on my way to Poipu Beach: I turned a corner and beautiful black Hawaiian and Moai Tikis stopped me in my tracks. What seemed to be the front lawn of a private residence (which was all done in lava rocks and tropical woods) was sporting 5 impressive black stone giants. I walked up the driveway and found the big Samoan house keeper, who gave me a little brochure for "The Rock House of Koloa"! He explained that the owner was at his first home in....GERMANY!

Apparently it was/is owned by a Peter Schachtschneider (say that quickly three times please) who made his money with a chain of health clubs. I even saw a picture of him with ARNOLD!

This was about five years ago, I am curious if the place is still there:

5465 Wailaau Road, Koloa


About the German guy's tikis near Poipu. I was there this March, and a few things have changed, including the route to Poipu - now there's a major bypass that turns to go directly to Poipu without going through the old Koloa district. Anyway Wailaau is just before the turn for the big bypass, and the house is still there but 2 or 3 of the 5 tikis are gone, I think because of termites and rot (they are wood painted black or tarred or something). Last time I saw them a few years ago, they were all there, but not doing so good.

Not much super tiki-ness, but I highly recommend the Tin Can Mailman bookstore in Kapaa for tapas and good old Hawaiian books that you can't find like nowhere man. Also recommend the Hyatt in Poipu - sit on their veranda and have a drink during the free torch lighting ceremony, or walk around their pools and coves. Keoki's Paradise in Poipu is pretty good food, with a nice hawaiian atmosphere - sorta like an open air trader vics with no tikis. About a mile from the end of the road on the north, you can look east to see the "3 sisters" on the ridgeline of a mountain - they look kinda like 3 moai. Not much else tiki stuff, but make sure you visit a Whalers General Store to get some Chiefly tikis.


Apparently it was/is owned by a Peter Schachtschneider



I havn't been back since hurricane Inke but Tahiti Nui used to be the place. Mrs. Boo and I spent a month long honeymoon in a house on Hanalei Bay and partied down with the senetor of N.M. back in 1990 at Tahiti Nui. They mixed a mean Mai Tai!!! Every morning some dude would roll up a log on the beach and carve it up in a few hours. He must have carved 20+ while we were there. I wonder were they all are? Blown out to sea? It's been a while. Need to go back soon.

I ran some pix of Tahiti Nui in the last Tiki News.... Not a lot of tikis there when I went in 2000!


Thanks all. I will definitely search out the places you mention. I agree about the Hyatt: I swim there every time I go and have even sneaked onto the waterslide a few times (got thrown out last time!). The whole garden/pool/beach area there is amazing.

I was actually on the isle just three weeks after Iniki and I've never seen anything like that kind of devastation. Along with tons of debris EVERYWHERE, I saw an entire house laying on its side! I really wanted to take pictures, but photographing other's misfortunes there just felt wrong for some reason. It's been nice to return so many times in the years since and witness how quickly the island recovered.

I seem to spend most of my time on Kauai in Hanalei and have driven by the Tahiti Nui many times. I will stop there this time (if it's still there).

BTW, for anyone going there in the future, you HAVE to go to Hamura Saimen in Lihue. Greatest noodles you'll ever have - and so cheap. It's been there at least 10 years so is likely to be around a while, I hope.

Thanks again,


Is that the Noodle Place kinda near the museum in a back alley? If it is you are right - the noodles (and the shaved ice) rock!


Someday maybe the Coco Palms resort will reopen. Until then:



Yes, Tangaroa, that's the place. Very dive-y and cafeteria-like inside. I've been craving their noodles ever since I was there last fall.

As a general rule, please don't EVER eat fast food on the islands. It's just offensive, like eating fast food in New Orleans.

It was really sad to see the growth of fast-food chains all around the island over the last 10 years. The only thing we can do is not patronize them, so please don't. If there's one thing Hawaiians know is food, so go to the local places. Kauai has a few inexpensive hidden treasures in this area. There's the hidden fish market in Hanalei, the GREAT little cafe in Kapa'a (name includes something about mermaids - can't remember), even Tom-Kats in Koloa. Or just ask any local where you can get a plate-lunch nearby - they'll know what you mean. They may not always be cheaper than fast food, but they are infinitely better tasting and the profits stay on the islands and not Taco Bell's headquarters on the mainland.

The Coco Palms looks amazing. I look forward to it's re-opening. Some think that Poipu area is too touristy, but it's downright rustic compared to the cookie-cutter condos and gaudy resorts in Princeville. They are to be avoided. Anti-tiki, if there is such a thing.


"In the future, everyone will have 15 minutes of privacy"

[ Edited by: Tiki-bot on 2002-07-31 16:00 ]

We here call Princeville, Irvine!!!
but just down the hill, across the valley, across the river, and down the road, is the best place on earth! Hanalei!!!!! I will live there one day!!!!!!


Hey - I grew up in Irvine! Not everything behind the Orange Curtain is terrible...


Tangaroa wrote:
Not everything behind the Orange Curtain is terrible...

I beg to differ. I served behind it for 12 agonizing years. Finally got paroled to Pasadena, then onto glorious freedom in Northern California. I can honestly say the only thing I miss about Orange County is, uh...I'll get back to you when I think of something! Okay, some of the beaches ARE sorta nice :wink:

The Tahiti Hui was still there in 2001, and was a pretty good place. Probably the best on Kauai. There was a little museum in Lihui that had some interesting pieces inside, but it wasn't kitsch by any means. Down past Lihui, going West, there were some really great little shacks that were serving fresh-squeezed Guava juice for like 50 cents (in a paper cup!).

The Surf is real good on several parts of the island, and yes, it is still beautiful and a lot of fun, if you don't get caught up into the tourist traps. My wife and I ate at small Chinese restaurants day and night, and they were all very good. We also found some good places to get old Hawaiian records. I just don't remember where. I'll try and think of it.

Duke Kahanamoku's restuarant, at the Marriott is really BAD though. They serve Mai Tais that are close to poison and I think the food is overpriced. Howevr, the bar has a nice view of the beach at sunset and there is a real good waterfall going down the stairs. No tikis there, and it is in a mini-mall structure in the hotel. Avoid that at all costs.

Waikiki is still the best place for Polynesian Pop.

On 2002-07-30 18:56, aquarj wrote:

Keoki's Paradise in Poipu is pretty good food, with a nice hawaiian atmosphere - sorta like an open air trader vics with no tikis.

There is slight tiki at Keoki's.

Keoki's does serve its MaiTai in a tikimug, complete with pineapple and umbrella. It is the perfrect tiki environment with tiki torches blazing, overlooking a lagoon in a tropical jungle!

It also has a good bar scene.

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